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Poor relationships could be the cause of male sexual dysfunction

13 September 2010

Sexual dysfunction affects one in three men at some stage in their lives, with US studies finding that poor relationships are a likely cause. Deakin University psychology researchers are now investigating if these findings also apply to Australian men.

Initial results from a study by doctoral student Catherine Connaughton and Professor Marita McCabe indicate that Australian men with sexual problems also tend to have issues in their relationships. The researchers are now calling on men, whether they have sexual problems or not, to share their experiences through an anonymous online survey.

“The US research indicated that men with sexual dysfunction were more likely to have conflict in their relationships, lower levels of intimacy and higher rates of anxiety when compared to men who do not have sexual problems,” Professor McCabe said.

“Our research so far has revealed that more than one third of men had a sexual dysfunction, with premature ejaculation the most common complaint.

“Of the men who reported a sexual dysfunction, more than one quarter experienced two or more sexual dysfunctions simultaneously. This suggests that sexual problems in one area may influence the onset of problems in other areas.

“We now need more men to complete the study so that we can better understand the difference between men with sexual dysfunction and those who do not experience problems in this area, as well as the high overlap between sexual dysfunctions.”

Ms Connaughton said that medical and pharmacological interventions have some success in treating sexual dysfunction, however the factors associated with the onset and maintenance of male sexual problems are not well understood.

“Although we know that various medical conditions are associated with sexual problems in men, there has been less research on the psychological factors. These factors may be anxiety, relationship problems, or sexual dysfunction in the partner,” she said.

“It is important to better recognise these factors so that appropriate treatment can be developed and implemented for men experiencing problems in the sexual area.”

Men aged 18-65 who are currently involved in a heterosexual relationship are invited to participate in the online, anonymous study. Responses from men who are sexually functional, as well as those who are experiencing sexual problems are welcome. Those interested in participating can go to the web site: http://www.deakin.edu.au/psychology/research/cc/

News facts
  • Researchers investigating causes of male sexual dysfunction
  • US studies indicate that poor relationships can impact on male sexual function
  • Australian men aged 18-65 called on to take part in online, anonymous study

Media contact

Mandi O'Garretty
Deakin Media Relations
(03) 5227 2776; 0418 361 890
mandi.ogarretty@deakin.edu.au

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13th September 2010